Yet more aluminium capacity is headed south this winter, as Chinese aluminium giant China Hongqiao Group will be relocating 1.93 million metric tons per annum to Yunnan province in the coming months.
A notice published by the Yunnan government said the new capacity would wind up in the Honghe prefecture, relocated from Honqiao’s operations in Shandong. In order to comply with capacity caps in the country, Hongqiao is trading capacity with Yunnan Honghe New Material Co.
The proposal will be open to public comment through January 7, with the move slated to begin in March. Hongqiao estimates the relocation will take about a year, with production resuming in the spring of 2023.
Hongqiao previously promised to move about 2 million metric tons per annum of aluminium smelting capacity from Shandong to Yunnan in order to power more of its operations via sustainable hydropower, swapping out for dirtier coal-fired power plants utilized more in the country’s northern reaches.
All told, Hongqiao is expected to move about 60 percent of its 6.46 million metric tons of production capacity to Yunnan province, much of it to the Honghe prefecture. Currently the province hosts about a tenth of the Middle Kingdom’s aluminium production.
Three quarters of the province’s power is provided by hydroelectric sources, but power from those projects has fallen over the past two months. Power restrictions have delayed relocation efforts this year, but Hongqiao chair Zhang Bo said in October that his firm has been working with local authorities to see the relocation through.